Handmade chocolate from Cupid Candies

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Around Easter, things are really hopping at Cupid Candies, one of Chicago's few family-owned candy makers that is still in business.

Candy makers mark their calendars by holidays.

"We start with Christmas which is one of the biggest. Valentines is the biggest as far as three-day sales, retail sales. Then you've got Easter and a little bit on Mother's Day," John Stefanos, owner, said. "This is the final push of the year."

Stefanos' father opened Cupid Candies in 1936. The company is still using the same secret recipes. The secret? Keeping it simple, Stefanos said.

"We use all natural ingredients. We use premium chocolate. We use butter. We use cream where some people will substitute for the natural things. . . We don't cheat," he said. "No preservatives. Our candy is made fresh. And usually it's gone within a week or two weeks max."

Cupid Candies is also behind Macy's Frango Mints. So if you've had them, you've had a taste of Cupid's.

Stefanos' father died in 2000 at the age of 102. The secret to such a long life?

"He ate anywhere from a half a pound to a pound of candy a day," Stefanos said. Eat more candy and stay alive."

Cupid Candies can be found at their three stores: 7637 S. Western Avenue in Chicago, 4707 W 95th Street in Oak Lawn, and 9420 143rd Street in Orland Park.

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